In May 2009, we ran a recipe for spareribs that Lombard supplied for a Hollywood-themed 1939 cookbook called "What Actors Eat -- When They Eat" (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/204782.html). At the time, all we had was the recipe, not a copy of the page it ran on.
That has since been rectified, thanks to the Los Angeles Times' popular local history blog, "The Daily Mirror." It noted the above book was being offered at eBay for triple digits, either as a minimum bid or its "buy it now" option. (In contrast, when a copy of the book was offered at auction about 18 months ago, bidding began at a mere $49.99.)
Someone who had a copy of the book commented, "I've owned this for ages, and it's quite a wonderful cookbook (and also, I suspect, actually genuine when it comes to the provenance of the various recipes included). You haven't lived 'til you've tried Carole Lombard's spareribs."
In a later entry, the page with the recipe was reprinted at the blog, and here it is (double-click to view it at full size):
What makes this extra fascinating is the biographical information that goes with it. Her birthdate is listed one year after she was actually born; her "real name" is listed as "Carole Jane Peters," not Jane Alice Peters; and this is among the taller height descriptions of her, at 5-foot-5 1/2.
Also note that she was "educated at the Virgil school." Sounds like one of those swanky finishing schools refined young ladies go to, right? But most Angelenos knew the truth -- Virgil was the junior high school she graduated from before dropping out of Fairfax High School to go into movies. She's listed as being married to Clark Gable, but on the roster of Selznick International, so one guesses the book was published in April or May of 1939, before or about the time she signed with RKO.
The recipe sounds delicious, and one of these days I'll have to try my hand at it.
The blog ran another celebrity recipe that I'll provide as a bonus -- it's from syndicated columnist Jimmie Fidler, whose work ran in the Times. It's for Boston baked beans (which would complement the spareribs), although Fidler hailed from Memphis, not New England. (Also note the book published his first name as "Jimmy," even though his "Jimmie" signature was on the same page.)
Now some more goodies, part of promoting one of Lombard's more obscure movies.
"It Pays To Advertise" is hardly the 1931 equivalent of "Mad Men," but it has its moments (a few supplied by Carole), and it's interesting to see how Paramount "sold" the film. Since it dealt with advertising, someone came up with the idea of posing Lombard and co-star Norman Foster in scenes representing ad slogans of the day. (Were a studio to try something like that today, it might want to get permission from the firms it was parodying -- or have attorneys on hand for the inevitable lawsuits.)
In the first, Foster is helping Lombard "keep that schoolgirl complexion":
Next, the famed coffee slogan "good to the last drop" -- but here, they pull a twist on the phrase "last drop," though one senses Carole would rather have coffee:
Finally, an apparent cigarette slogan of the time, "Be nonchalant" (I have no idea what brand used it), and Norman indeed looks nonchalant -- in fact, he and Lombard both appear a bit ridiculous -- as he holds her in his arms:
(Thanks to Tally for eliminating the watermark from two of the three.)
The first two photos are from the same seller, and can be bought for $16.99. For the "keep that schoolgirl complexion," visit http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-NORMAN-FOSTER-BEAUTY-TIPS-8X10-PHOTO-/150503404398?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ab3b36e; for the "good to the last drop," go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-NORMAN-FOSTER-GOOD-COFFEE-8X10-PHOTO-/400161548177?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2b7ca791. If unsold, each will be available until next Friday afternoon (Eastern).
The third photo, "be nonchalant," is also under the "buy it now" option, but for a mere $12.50, and if unsold, will be on the market for nearly another four weeks. It's at http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-RARE-SEXY-FUR-2-/280367306207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41473195df.